Grand Rapids Griffins Central Logo

The System
Message Board
Contact Us
Training Camp
RSS Feed
Griffins Stunned by Bulldogs Rally 4-3 OT Loss
Third period collapse allows four unanswered goals...
By Jason Kasiorek

The Grand Rapids Griffins dominated the first 40 minutes of the game before suffering a humiliating collapse in the third period that culminated in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs. The Bulldogs scored 4 unanswered goals to tie the series at two, spoiling an incredible night for West Michigan native Justin Abdelkader who may have played his best game as a pro. Besides scoring a goal, Abdelkader was a dominant physical force and dictated the pace and style of play while on the ice. The Griffins also got goals from Aaron Gagnon and Jamie Tardif in the loss.

The Griffins wasted no time getting on the board as Aaron Gagnon scored just 34 seconds into the game. Jason Jozsa sprung Gagnon on a breakaway, and the defensive center made a nifty move, froze Denis, and then put the puck in over his leg pad for a 1-0 lead. Abdelkader destroyed Maxwell with a huge open ice hit, drawing the attention of Janik who immediately went after him. Justin dropped the gloves and landed a couple in a grappling match that eventually broken up. This was just a sign of things to come as the two teams were chippy all night, and in bad temper. Abdelkader blocked a point shot with his face and crumpled to the ice bleeding profusely. He was eventually helped off the ice by trainer Rob Snitzer and went to the dressing room. Rookie Brian Lashoff made a huge play, diving and poking the puck away to break up a shorthanded breakaway. Shots on Goal: GR 10 - Ham 5.

Downey made a great play midway through the second to set up the Griffins second goal. The rugged forward took the puck to the net and dropped it to Gagnon who dragged it past Denis' pad and slid it across the crease for Tardif, the late man, to slam home. McCarty had a great chance on the dorstep, followed by another beauty off the rush by Andersson. Frankie Lemieux came out of the box and charged in alone after the loose puck. He came together with Denis and his stuck stuck in the netminders skate, causing him to almost fall down. Then the puck came loose the other way and Jimmy made a highlight reel save, literally reaching down and picking the puck off the Bulldogs forwards stick with his catching glove. Abdelkader speared Jancevski during a scrum, and just shoved the Bulldogs players away as they tried to get at him. Shots on Goal: GR 14 - Ham 11.

Abdelkader made it 3-0 44 seconds into the third when he picked up the rebound of a Lashoff point blast and ripped a shot from the circle past Denis. Henry jumped Downey, who quickly covered up, drawing another powerplay. Russell picked up the puck and sprang Chipchurra on a shorthanded breakway that ended up behind Howard to break the shutout. Jakub Kindl started to fall apart around this point, turning over the puck several times ina row that led to quality scoring chances on Howard. The Griffins began to lose their composure and were not being responsible with the puck like they had been the first two periods. Less than two minutes later Maxwell, on the poerplay, snapped a shot from the circle using Kindl as a screen that beat howard high. Coach Fraser called a time out at this point to calm his troops down - It had little effect. Maxwell netted his second of the night shortly thereafter on the powerplay, when he fired a laser under Jimmy arm, glove side to tie the score. Kindl continued his one man implosion by taking an interference penalty to put the dogs back on the powerplay, but the GR penalty killers came up big with the kill. Shots on Goal: GR 11 - Ham 7.

The Griffins rallied to put some good pressure on in the beginning of the overtime, but it was decided by a fluky goal less than three minutes in. White took a shot toward the net and it hit Galvin in the ankle before deflecting past Howard for the loss. Shots on Goal: GR 1 - Ham 1. For the Game: GR 36 - Ham 24.

Leino - Abdelkader - Haydar
Ritola - Andersson - McCarty
Mursak - Pare - Lemieux
Tardif - Gagnon - Downey

Kindl - Galvin
Kolosov - Jozsa
Lashoff - Stafford

Starter: Howard
Backup: Larsson

Oulahen - Hip
McGrath - Shoulder
Axelsson - Groin

Leino - Abdelkader - Haydar
Lashoff - Stafford

Ritola - Andersson - McCarty
Galvin - Kindl

Ritola - Andersson
Kindl - Galvin

Tardif - Gagnon
Kolosov - Stafford

Abdelkader - Haydar


Not a lot of notes tonight. The team played a great game the first 40 minutes, and did not show much resolve with the meltdown in the third. This does not inspire hope going forward.

The defense did a great job early of controlling the puck in their own end and clearing rebounds. That stopped after the first goal in the third, and the team really looked panicked as the Bulldogs mounted their comeback.

Great game by Abdelkader, I said it in the game report, but he was a dominant force all night. The Bulldogs players were chasing him around, and at one point even tried to get to him on the bench.

The Kindl - Galvin pairing fell apart again in the third and were just brutal...enough said.

Downey was very effective all night, playing with an edge, but not getting into trouble. He drew a couple of penalties, and did a good job breaking up plays.

Nice to see Tardif get a goal as he makes his comeback from knee surgery.

Official Game Sheet